It’s my friend’s 40th birthday today, and we’re having a ladies lunch in her honour. Of course we need good cake. There will be grandmas and new babies and friends coming from afar. Twenty cake-loving women, and we need enough cake leftovers to make the men happy when they join us later. Somehow it always falls to me to make the cake…
The picture above is a double recipe. This cake is a triumph – so easy, and it never fails to please.
Ingredients for cake:
250 grams unsalted butter (I’ve used salted and that’s fine if it’s all you’ve got), 200 grams good quality dark chocolate, 1 cup caster sugar, 1 cup soft brown sugar, 3/4 cup plain flour, 3/4 cup self raising flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, or one shot of espresso, 1 1/3 cups of water (a teensy bit less if you used espresso), 3 eggs
- Break the chocolate into pieces and dump into a large saucepan. Add in the chopped butter, sugar, water and coffee. Melt together until all ingredients are dissolved and then cool.
- Sift flours and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
- Gently mix through the cooled chocolate liquid by hand with a large spoon.
- Finally, beat the eggs together to combine, then gently fold the eggs into the cake mix.
- Pour the batter into a double lined 20cm deep cake tin, and bake at 150 degrees celcius for 1 3/4 hours. **check cake towards the end so it doesn’t overcook.
- Allow to cool in tin before removing
Melt together 250grams of broken dark chocolate and 1/3 cup of cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it thickens, stirring occasionally and then pour/spread over cake. (Don’t leave ganache in fridge and forget about it or you’ll have to eat the lot!)
I also made some chocolate leaves by melting dark chocolate and using a clean paint brush to paint camelia leaves. Just peel the leaf away carefully when the chocolate sets. Ivy leaves also look brilliant, but the cows ate my ivy, so camelia leaves had to suffice. Any non-toxic leaf will work. Then I used smarties (chocolate beanies) to make flower patterns. It looks a bit like I channelled my inner 1950s housewife, don’t you think!
♥ Serve in small slices (be warned – this is rich!) with some vanilla icecream or a good double cream. It keeps well, but never seems to last. Enjoy! xx